It's Official - Whoopi to Join The View
Rumor had it that TWO women -- Whoopi Goldberg and comic/actress Sherri Shepherd -- soon would be announced as the newest members of the coterie which leads Barbara Walters' daytime chatfest The View.
But instead, Walters announced this morning that Goldberg would be joining the show this fall as one of the major hosts, filling the spot most recently vacated by Rosie O'Donnell on the day afer Labor Day.
Goldberg's ascension solves lots of problems. She's a stand-up comic, so presumably she can bring the funny nearly as well as Rosie; she's always been a vocal lefty politically, so she'll keep up the viewer-friendly friction with resident conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck; and she's black, which stems the criticism that the View has lacked consistent diversity since Star Jones was fired last year.
Of course, the problem Walters and Disney/ABC have had recently with The View is that its ratings sizzle has come from the show's backstage/offstage/sideways drama. First it was Jones unseemly greed in shilling for her expensive wedding, then her bizarre refusal to admit (until recently here) gastic bypass surgery fueled her tremendous weight loss, then it was O'Donnell's increasingly agitated political rants and finally her gloves-off conflict with Hasslebeck which led to her quitting the show.
Great for ratings. But bad for producers, staff and executives, who walked an increasingly wobbly tightrope, wondering when the controversies would cross a line and turn off more viewers than they attracted.
So two questions remain: Can Goldberg bring the noise without the nonsense? And will they ever say what happened to Shepherd?
Here's some info from ABC on it all:
Barbara Walters, creator/executive producer and co-host of ABC’s “The View,” officially announced today, live on “The View,” that Whoopi Goldberg has been named moderator of her Emmy® Award-winning morning talk and entertainment show. Since the show’s inception, Ms. Goldberg has made thirteen guest appearances and has been a guest co-host fourteen times. She will debut on “The View” on September 4 (11:00 a.m.–12:00 noon, ET), the start of the show’s eleventh season.
“I have known Whoopi for years. She is brilliant, funny and irrepressible, and is an enormously popular and talented star. We are delighted that she is going to join the program as our moderator. This is going to be a great new chapter for ‘The View,’” said Ms. Walters.
“We are thrilled to have Whoopi join us as moderator for the eleventh season of ‘The View,’” said Brian Frons, president, Daytime Disney-ABC Television Group. “She is a grounded soul, funny, wise and a good listener, all of which will work well for her in that role. It should be quite an ensemble.”
“I’m really glad to be doing ‘The View.’ It’s a show I like with people I like, and I’m looking forward to it,” said Ms. Goldberg.
Whoopi Goldberg made her motion picture debut in Steven Spielberg’s film version of Alice Walker’s novel, “The Color Purple,” which garnered her both an Oscar™ nomination and the Golden Globe® as Best Actress. She has appeared in countless other films, including “Ghost,” a role that earned her the Academy Award® and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. Ms. Goldberg has also made numerous appearances on television, including “Comic Relief” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and served as host of the Academy Awards multiple times. In 1992 she hosted her own late night talk show that was hailed by critics. She is the recipient of the Grammy®, Emmy® and the 2002 Tony Award® and Drama Desk Award as a producer for the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” as well as the 1985 Theater World and Drama Desk Award for her one woman show, “Whoopi Goldberg.” She recently published her third book and will continue to host her daily radio show, “Wake Up With Whoopi,” which is syndicated nationally by Clear Channel.